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Showing posts from March, 2018

Counting Collections

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I LOVE COUNTING COLLECTIONS!

I can't believe I didn't know about them before, but after watching an ICTM webinar by Denise Brown (check out the recording here!), I was hooked! Immediately, I reached out to a few teachers in my district that also watched the webinar. I co-taught a counting collections lesson in each of their classrooms, one kindergarten and the other 1st grade. Wow. It was amazing.



Then, I saw another ICTM webinar by Kassia Wedekind (see that one here!) where she talked about nudges during counting collections. Ah ha! Another amazing idea.

Now I wanted to try more counting collections lessons. Luckily, we had a teacher institute day coming up and one of the original counting collections teachers agreed to present the idea to all of the kindergarten and 1st grade teachers. She did an awesome job sharing how she was using the routine in her classroom.

Next, I put together a traveling "Counting Collection Collection." I went to the dollar store and bough…

My Favorite Fraction Manipulative

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Wait, that just looks like strips of paper?!
Yep, that's what it is. Introducing my FAVORITE fraction manipulative. No need for fancy plastic fraction tiles, no purchase order necessary, no app to download. Just find some paper and cut it in strips. It can even be "GOOSe" paper (good on one side), as in scrap paper!


Here's why I love it:
1) It makes fractions visual. 2) It relates to tape diagrams. 3) It helps make connections of where fractions go on the number line. 4) It's a manipulative that won't expire. It always works, even when students start exploring decimals and percents. 5) It's fun!

I have done this lesson with lots of kids over the years. It works great with grades 4-6. 
Here's the procedure:
1) Put a lot of strips of paper out! (you want kids to have access to extra in case they "mess up") 2) Have students start with 1 strip and fold into halves. This is usually accessible for all kids. But walk around to help if anyone is stuc…

STEM Themed Toys, Gifts, and Prizes

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My district hosts a student-centered conference called SIT (Students Involved with Technology). It's a great event where students present their knowledge of tech to other students. It's held on a Saturday and open to kids in grades 3-12. There are students from our district and also kids from surrounding areas. There is even a kid keynote!

Generally our biggest issue is kids running in the hallways... because they are so excited to get to the next session!

The adults just help kids get set up and are there to supervise, but it's the students that present and learn from each other!



Each year we cap off the day with raffle prizes. This year I was asked to make an Amazon wish-list of prize ideas. So, basically, I got to shop for $900 worth of fun stuff! I tried to get prizes that would appeal to kids that range from 8 years old to seniors in high school. I also put some artsy stuff on there, some coding stuff, books, toys, and t-shirts.

Who do you think is more excited about…